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February 09, 2010

Young Patients with Cataracts do Better with Surgery

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This month's American Journal of Ophthalmology has an interesting article titled: Ten-Year Longitudinal Visual Function and Nd: YAG Laser Capsulotomy Rates in Patients Less Than 65 Years at Cataract Surgery.  The authors followed 102 pf 116 patients who underwent cataract surgery before the age of 65 and evaluated their 10 year results.  Here is what they found:

  • 37% of the patients under 65 at surgery had YAG capsulotomies in comparison to 20% of the older patients.  A YAG capsulotomy is used to treat an opacification of a membrane left in the eye at the time of cataract surgery (PCO) to improve vision.
  • Visual acuity diminished by more than 0.1 logarithm of the minimal angle of resolution (logMAR) units of the operated eye in 18% of the younger patients and 37% of the older patients.
  • A reduction in VF-14 score of 10 points or more was found in 9% of the younger and 28% of the older cataract surgery patients.
What this study shows is that younger cataract patients retain their improved vision more than their older counterparts.  This is good to know, as I am definitely seeing and treating more patients than ever under the age of 65.  When these patients opt for their premium lenses to help eliminate their need for glasses, I can reassure them that the vision will be lasting!

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